Austenesque, Children's Books

A Preview & Giveaway of Clueless: A Totally Classic Picture Book, Adapted by G. M. Berrow, and illustrated by Heather Burns

Clueless: A Totally Classic Picture Book 2020Its been twenty-five years since Clueless premiered in 1995 and we are still worshiping the creative genius of writer/director Amy Heckerling’s film adaptation of Jane Austen 1815 classic novel, Emma.

This witty coming-of-age teen comedy featured a string of now-famous young actors such as Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Paul Rudd, and Brittany Murphy, eye-popping fashion, and hip 1990’s slang—a combination of Valley-speak and Beverly Hills glitterati. The movie was a big hit with critics and the public and is now considered a cult classic.

If you have young ones in your life or are young at heart, you will be seriously interested in Clueless: A Totally Classic Picture Book. Inspired by Amy Heckerling’s iconic film, this charming children’s Continue reading “A Preview & Giveaway of Clueless: A Totally Classic Picture Book, Adapted by G. M. Berrow, and illustrated by Heather Burns”

Book Reviews, Critiques & Analysis, Jane Austen, Nonfiction

As If!: The Oral History of Clueless as Told by Amy Heckerling, the Cast, and the Crew, by Jen Chaney – A Review

As If the Oral History of Clueless Jen Chaney 2015 x 200From the desk of Lisa Galek:

In July of 1995, I had just turned 15 when my high school girlfriends suggested we go see the new movie Clueless. At the time, I didn’t know that writer/director Amy Heckerling had based the plot of her movie about a pretty, rich girl from Beverly Hills on Jane Austen’s Emma, but that didn’t matter. My friends and I might not have been “handsome, clever, and rich” like Emma or Cher, but we were absolutely delighted by the message and world of Clueless. My love for that movie has been growing ever since. In Jen Chaney’s book, As If!, mega fans can finally learn all the behind the scenes details about what some folks believe to be the greatest Austen film adaptation of all time. (My apologies to Colin Firth.)

As you’ll see right there in the title, As If! is an “oral history” of Clueless. Basically, that just means that the author has collected interviews with the main cast and crew and patched them together into a readable order. She begins at the beginning, explaining how Amy Heckerling wrote the movie and managed to get backing from Paramount. The longer, mid-section of the book focuses on the day-to-day making of the movie during the two-and-a-half-month shooting schedule. The author ends with various reflections on how Clueless became such a pop culture phenomenon and the ways the movie changed fashion, language, and the girl-centric storytelling for the better. You can preview the basic style of the book by checking out this article Jen Chaney wrote for Vulture about the Val Party Scene.

There are some truly interesting bits in here. The author includes stories about the studios that passed on Clueless (only to really, really regret that later) and the casting process (if things had gone differently, Reese Witherspoon or Angelina Jolie might have been explaining that Amber was “a full-on Monet”). There are scene-by-scene breakdowns of what filming was like. Did you know The Mighty Mighty Bosstones were drunk during Cher and Christian’s first date? And that Donald Faison actually shaved the top of his head at the Val party? Or that the guy who mugs Cher (and ruins her Alaïa dress) was cast only a few hours before filming that scene? Yup, it’s all true and in the book. Continue reading “As If!: The Oral History of Clueless as Told by Amy Heckerling, the Cast, and the Crew, by Jen Chaney – A Review”